Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distribution firm, has implemented another pioneering effort in in the form of banning the use of single-use plastic (SUP), polystyrene foam and similar products in all of its premises, activities and corporate events.
A move that was started last November, SUPs covered by the ban include plastic grocery bags, beverage bottles, food service utensils such as cutlery, plates, cups, lids, straws, stirrers and dispensing containers for cleaning fluids.
Such policy is observed in the company’s entire franchise area which includes the entire Metro Manila, provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite as well as parts of of Laguna, Quezon, Batangas and 17 barangays in Pampanga.
Ray Espinosa, Meralco president and chief executive officer, said the protection of the environment is a collective obligation that “we not only owe to the communities we serve but more importantly, the future generation.”
“ It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to ensure that we integrate sustainability in all areas of our operations and in our workplace to create a positive impact to the environment,” Espinosa.
The ban also covers other Meralco affiliates such as Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp., CIS Bayad Center, Inc., Meralco Energy, Inc., Radius Telecoms, Inc., MSpectrum, Inc., MRAIL, Inc., Meralco Powergen Corp. and eSakay, Inc. as well as affiliated companies, Comstech Integration Alliance, Inc., Clark Electric Distribution Corp. and Shin Clark Power Group.
Meralco’s supply chain partners have also been told to ensure full compliance with the ban effective next year.
Aside from reducing its contribution of plastic to landfills and marine pollution, the move also aims to educate employees and business partners on the responsible use of plastic for proper disposal for a sustainable economy through lifestyle change.
“Everyone in Meralco is committed to do their part in ensuring that we embrace sustainability as a way of life by greatly reducing our contribution to the million tons of plastics waste that are used and dumped in our water ways, rivers and oceans every day,” Espinosa said.
Citing a report published by the United Nations Environment Program, the company said that such effort is crucial especially since only nine percent of the nine trillion kilos of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled as most end up in landfills, dumps or in the oceans.